American Shutdown

A few weeks ago some of our students took an open-top bus tour of Cambridge on their penultimate afternoon, and reported themselves mystified by a lengthy excursus the bus made outside the town, to visit the American Cemetery in Madingley (it was, in fairness to the students in question, a cold and windy day).

I explained as best I could the significance of the place – it is a cemetery for American servicemen of the Second World War. Most of those interred there were members of the American bomber crews busy with the strategic attacks on Northern Europe throughout the war, many of which were based in the East of England. Others died in the invasions of North Africa and France, and in the Battle of the Atlantic. Among the names listed on the Tablets of the Missing are Glenn Miller, the band leader who disappeared over the English Channel in December 1944, and Joe Kennedy Jnr., elder brother of JFK, who was killed in 1944 while flying a secret and experimental mission which you can read about here.

The Cemetery has been affected by the shutdown in the US political system in recent days, and is now closed to the public, but the open-top bus tour is most likely still running.


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